The thoughts below were the exact feelings going through my head after my very first viewing, literally written down as soon as the credits began to roll. After everyone saying it was good and it getting a much-hyped sequel, I finally borrowed a DVD and gave the first Guardians of the Galaxy a watch and… well… you’ll see.
Original Thoughts Begin… NOW
Now more than ever I’m convinced I live in a time where humanity’s intellect as a whole has forever trapped most of humanity in the mental state of being teenagers, if not children. Only such a state could explain how Guardians of the Galaxy became some sort of surprise smash hit.
Where do I even start? I knew there’d be problems almost from the opening credits, where Starlord is doing some Tomb Raider shenanigans while doing a stupid dance to horribly out of place 70s music. It really does set the tone: Like a lot of modern western fiction, Guardians of the Galaxy likes to make up for its own lack of wit or originality by instead making tons of pop culture references in supposedly “clever” contexts (see, for example, the part where he describes the 80s movie Footloose as an “ancient Earth legend”). I can believe this was directed by the guy who won razzies for the live-action Scooby Doo movies, because this crap seems like his style.
And gee, aliens who are overly literal and don’t understand terms like “sticks up their butt” and “flying over your head.” Never seen that before. What, was this screenplay written by a twelve year old?
In fact, the lack of originality is a huge part of why this movie bored me to tears. Guardians of the Galaxy was so formulaic that it could give pointers to a Roger Moore-era James Bond film! Look here, the story is essentially that some evil bad warlord wants a magic doohickey of great power. Meanwhile, five “misfit” heroes of diverse backgrounds who initially seem to hate each other but come to bond over… something, wind up discovering their inner nobility and becoming “unlikely” heroes. We even have that scene all these movies seem to have where the lead talks about how the odds are incredible and they’re all likely to die but he’s making a rousing friendship speech that inspires everyone to join him in that tired display where they all give him their support one at a time until even the last holdout (in this case, Rocket Raccoon) reluctantly chimes in.
For ***** sake, this is a freaking children’s movie!
I could go on about how Nebula has absolutely no motivation and is an antagonist just for the sake of having someone for Gamorra to have a kung-fu showdown with (because women can only fight other women, natch) or how Groot just pulls new powers out of his ass, or how the joke just before the end credits where Groot stops dancing when Drax is looking makes no freaking sense because Groot would have no reason to hide his movement from his friend, and these are all symptomatic of the terribleness of this movie, but those are all secondary to how just utterly utterly BORED I was the whole way through and how much I just wished the stupid thing would hurry up and end.
And I know people are gonna be like, “but but lasers! and explosions! and lots of spaceships!” I can’t imagine what kind of stunted mental state people must have where just having a lot of flash on screen is all it takes to thrill them. All I know is I’ve never been that type of person. I mean I don’t mind a good action movie, but good action movies tend to have a sense of rhyme or flow to their action scenes (see the original Die Hard), not just have a bunch of eyecatching motions and explosions for the sake of having movement and color.
Speaking of which, I don’t read Marvel Comics much but my understanding was that each of the Infinity Gems mapped to a particular aspect of the cosmos–Soul, Time, Space, Reality, Mind, and Power (I had to look that up). Meaning each gem had governance over its aspect, such as the Time gem letting you rewind or fast-forward time or change history and such.
Naturally, this movie goes the most utterly dull route and just gives you this one nondescript Gem of Purple Energy Beams of Destructiveness, because why would we want to explore interesting concepts, amirite? And yes, I know that there being six is still acknowledged. My problem is that they’re reduced to just jewels that shoot laser beams and make purple explosions.
God this movie is terrible, and it was the third time I gave the Marvel Cinematic Universe a chance. Three strikes and your out, Marvel.
Yeah… suffice to say, I’m not gonna be seeing the sequel.
I mean, I was tempted to give these thoughts a rewrite to make them cleaner and more “professional” and “objective” but in this case it felt best to let my original raw seething antipathy stand as it was.